Millions still at risk due to ongoing famine in Malawi (18.1.17) + flooding in Madagascar
Food shortages in Malawi are becoming more serious at a time of year when food supplies are already low.
Drought in the country has led to a famine that has left 6.5 million people (40 per cent of the population) facing food insecurity.
George Willow, Administration and Finance Manager for the Anglican Council in Malawi, sent USPG the following report:
‘The hunger situation is becoming worse in what is already a lean season. Despite government efforts to alleviate this situation, most people are suffering, especially in rural areas.
‘The rains have started well in some areas, but in other areas there is too much or too little. For example, some crops in the district of Mchinji in central Malawi have been washed away by heavy winds and rains, while Nkhotakota is experiancing low rainfull.
‘The government is importing maize from neighbouring countries, which is being stored throughout Malawi, but a problem is that the price of the staple food has doubled, meaning many households are unable to afford maize to feed themselves.
‘International organisations are trying their best to distribute food to vulnerable families, but the task is too large to be handled by international organisations.
‘The Anglican Church, with support from our partners, is also trying its best to alleviate the suffering by distributing food. For example, last week we distributed food throughout the Diocese of Lake Malawi.
‘In Kachokolo Parish, we saw a group of women singing praise as they walked with their archdeacon to the church where maize was being distributed.
‘We are so thankful to all our partners for the financial support that has made it possible to reach out to vulnerable households. This will even help with church growth as community members have appreciated the help given by the church, something they never expected considering the church itself is facing economic hardship along with everyone else in the country.
'The support has motivated a lot of people to make pledges to give more to the church after witnessing the love God has for them.’
Madagascar and Zimbabwe also affected
The famine is also affecting Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
In Madagascar, the Diocese of Toliara’s development co-ordinator Gasthé Alphonse told USPG: 'We are in the rainy season now and people are suffering because there's too much rain and the villages and fields are flooding. The situation is getting worse. The Anglican Church is making rice distributions.'
He added: 'Southern Madagascar is experiencing heavy rains causing floods. Infrastructure is devastated, including roads, schools, cultivated fields, houses, offices. Too much rain. Some people have died.
'This is putting a strain on people who were not prepared, who are now homeless.
'The rising water also cuts off traffic, which brings rising transport costs because they have to deviate.'
- Your donations to USPG’s Rapid Response Fund will help Anglican Churches to support local communities experiencing food shortages in Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.